Council on Women and Girls Blog
- Posted byon October 28, 2011 at 4:37 PM EDT
Last night, I had the chance to attend a reception co-hosted by the designer and entrepreneur Tory Burch, and the Rebecca Project, a non-profit organization that works to prevent human trafficking, domestic abuse, and other acts of violence against women.
As the Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, I was honored to join so many advocates for equal rights, and equal opportunity. The reception was a reminder that so-called “women’s issues” affect all of us, men and women. When women succeed, America succeeds.
This is particularly important as our country faces the effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression. We are counting on women entrepreneurs like Tory to help drive our economic recovery.
Just as importantly, successful businesswomen can use their experience and resources to help others succeed. Today, the Tory Burch Foundation provides women small business owners with microloans. Tory also shares her experience and expertise as a founding board member of StartUp America, a public-private partnership that President Obama helped launch earlier this year, to support high-growth, early-stage companies. By doing well and doing good, she sets an example for all business leaders.
- Posted byon October 26, 2011 at 6:54 PM EDT
Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Valerie Jarrett joined me at a Champions of Change event to honor 14 individuals and organizations from across the country who are focused on ending domestic violence in their communities. At the event, the Champions from every walk of life shared their personal stories and discussed lessons they have learned while working to end domestic violence on a local level.
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities.
Recipients of the White House’s “Champions of Change” honors are:
- David R. Thomas M.S., Domestic Violence Education Program, Johns Hopkins University
- William Kellibrew, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
- New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP)
- Lena Alhusseini- Arab-American Family Support Center
- Johanna Orozco- Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center of Greater Cleveland
- Nicole DeSario- Teen Advocate
- Suzanne Dubus, Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center
- Becca Stevens, Magdalene/Thistle Farms
- Vincent Mazzara- Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Meg Schnabel, Redevelopment Opportunities for Women (ROW)
- Amelia Cobb, The Wright Group (TWG)
- People’s Place
- New Beginnings House (Otakahe Teca Tipi)
- Kabzuag Vaj, Freedom Inc.
For more information about each of these Champions of Change, please visit WhiteHouse.gov/champions
Lynn Rosenthal is the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women.
- Posted byon October 25, 2011 at 6:31 PM EDT
Welcome to the Council on Women and Girls Weekly Highlights. If you have friends or family who would like to support the efforts of the Council on Women and Girls, please visit our website and share this link with others on Facebook and Twitter.
Last week was one of celebration and remembrance. On Friday, the President announced that the remaining troops in Iraq will officially be coming home, bringing an end to the war in Iraq. As the President said, “Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq—tens of thousands of them—will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq—with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops. That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.”
On Sunday, October 16, tens of thousands of people came to the National Mall for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication. President Obama, joined by the First Family, toured the memorial and then spoke at the dedication ceremony in honor of Dr. King's work.
Check Out This Video: Celebrating Women in STEM
Gayle was one of 94 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) who gathered in the East Room of the White House to meet the President earlier this month. Check out her encouraging video to young women interested in science.
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When: Thursday, October 27
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Passcode Title: White House Call with Secretary Donovan and Jon Carson
On Thursday, October 20, some wonderful women and men received awards and honors here at the White House. The President recognized the 13 recipients of the Presidential Citizens Medal, one of the highest honors a civilian can receive. The same day, the White House honored 14 “Champions of Change” for their work to end Domestic Violence, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We also recognized October 20 as Spirit Day-- to honor the memory of young people who are victims of bullying and valiant supporters, as well as victims of domestic violence.
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Avra Siegel is the Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
- Posted byon October 24, 2011 at 6:50 PM EDT
Ed note: This blog was cross-posted from the Office of Science Technology and Policy
What advice do some of the top women scientists and engineers in America have for girls all over the country?
“Go ahead and start breaking stuff,” said researcher Gayle Hagler in the above White House video, because that’s how she got her start.
Gayle was one of 94 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) who gathered in the East Room of the White House to meet the President earlier this month. PECASE awardees are selected each year to honor outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers, show exceptional potential for leadership, and have demonstrated a commitment to community service and the advancement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
Gayle, in particular, was recognized for “exceptional research to characterize the effects of traffic-related air pollution,” but there was a time when she didn’t even know the difference between a Phillips and a Flathead screwdriver. That’s why she and a few of her fellow female PECASE recipients took a few minutes out of their busy visit to the White House to send a special video message to girls who might be interested in STEM subjects: Get hands on experience, and get it now.
Moving America from the middle to the top of the pack in STEM education is a priority championed by President Obama and the First Lady, and making sure girls and other historically underrepresented groups have the tools and support they need to excel in these subjects is part of this effort. Less than a month ago, the First Lady made this clear in an event at the White House: “If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, then we have to open doors to everyone. We can't afford to leave anyone out. We need all hands on deck. And that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.”
And these hurdles are coming down left and right. Thanks to flexible workplace policies like those featured in the National Science Foundation’s recently launched Career-Life Balance Initiative, women researchers are facing an easier path to having careers as innovators while also enjoying rewarding lives as parents. Considering that women in STEM careers earn 33 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts, these steps to retain women in the STEM workforce ensure increased opportunities for women to achieve economic prosperity.
One need only look at this year’s PECASE winners to witness the incredible frontiers that women scientists and engineers are already traversing. As the President noted in his remarks in the East Room, roughly 40 percent of this year’s PECASE winners were women, among them individuals who serve as important role models to girls within their community and beyond. Check out the full list here.
As these women and the winners of the Google Global Science Fair prove, girls are just as capable as boys when it comes to math, science, and technology. So, girls, in the spirit of Gayle Hagler, grab a tool kit and get to work!
Hallie Schneir is White House Liaison for Women in the Office of Public Engagement
- Posted byon October 17, 2011 at 9:38 AM EDT
Welcome to the Council on Women and Girls Weekly Highlights! If you have friends or family who would like to support the efforts of the Council on Women and Girls, please visit our website and share this link with others on Facebook and Twitter.
A lot of exciting accomplishments for women were highlighted here at the White House recently, and across the world this past week. All three Nobel Peace Prize winners were women from Africa and the Middle East, we were visited by female soccer and basketball all-stars, the First Lady's Lets' Move! program attempted to beat a Guiness World Record and the state arrival for the President and First Lady of South Korea was on Thursday.
The President continued to focus on getting Americans back to work. On Tuesday, October 11, President Obama met with the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss the security of our economy. Yesterday, as a part of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's official state visit, President Obama and President Lee held a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House today taking questions from both the U.S. and Korean press on a number of issues including the recently passed landmark trade agreement between the two countries.
- Posted byon October 17, 2011 at 9:20 AM EDT
As the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, I am reminded of my mother, Elisa. She persevered through adversity to ensure that her six children would have a better life. She instilled in us a confidence to have big dreams despite growing up in public housing in Harlem.
Mom lived long enough to see me fulfill my dream of becoming an attorney, but she could have never dreamed her daughter would one day work for the President of the United States.
This administration’s commitment to Latinas starts at the top. President Obama has nominated more Latinas to positions of power than any chief executive in American history. This includes nominating Justice Sonia Sotomayor to be the first Latina on the Supreme Court and Secretary Hilda L. Solis as the first Latina to lead the Department of Labor.
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